In this issue... Peritoneal Mesothelioma New Interactive Web Tools Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. Issue 7 March 2015

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1 In this issue... Peritoneal Mesothelioma New Interactive Web Tools Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Issue 7 March 2015

2 Contents 2 Social Media Trending news 3 Peritoneal Mesothelioma 4 Case Study Successful Mesothelioma Case 6 New Interactive Web Tools 8 Armley The UK s Deadliest District - Part 6 9 Charity Profile Helen Rollason Cancer Charity 10 Benefit Entitlements Bereavement Payments 11 Treatment Centres Finding asbestos disease treatment centres across the UK Subscribe If you would like to subscribe to our FREE Justice newsletter, please Contribute If you would like to share your story with us, or contribute towards our next issue of Justice, please Welcome We ended January by successfully recovering 185,000 in compensation for the widow of an ex-maintenance assistant. Uncover how the team won one of their most complex cases to date on page 4. To help make your asbestos claim with confidence, we ve introduced three new interactive features to our website. Discover more about our Claims Calculator, Trustpilot reviews and Livechat on pages 6 and 7. The Helen Rollason Charity is this month s charity highlight on page 9. A great charity founded in 1999 as a legacy of Helen Rollason MBE, who passed away from cancer aged only 43. We sincerely hope you enjoy this month s issue. Thank you for reading and keep sharing! Helena Cameron Helena Cameron. Asbestos Justice Associate Director Social Media Who to Follow... Twitter Paul Richardson Care Campaigning for mental health awareness, disability awareness, your rights and choices. Dean Fennell FRCP Professor of Thoracic Medical Oncology, Thoracic Cancer Lead - CRUK Centre Leicester; Chair - NCRI mesothelioma subgroup; IMIG President. Laurie Kazan-Allen Coordinator of the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat and publisher/ editor of the British Asbestos Newsletter. Facebook Pages Helen Rollason Cancer Charity HRCC The Official Facebook page for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. Supporting people living with cancer through research, drugs trials and support centres. The charity receives most of its funding from donations, fundraising and through twelve shops. It relies on support from volunteers. Saatchi Bill Official Facebook page for the Medical Innovation Bill. The Bill will help doctors to innovate new treatments and cures safely and responsibly for cancer and other diseases. Our mission is to ensure all patients, medical professionals and the public get to have their say in the current public consultation on the Saatchi Bill

3 Peritoneal Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos which affects the mesothelial cells. These cells form the linings that cover most of the body s organs. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. This affects the linings of the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for around 75% of mesothelioma diagnoses. Mesothelioma can also affect the heart pericardial mesothelioma; and the testes testicular mesothelioma; however both of these are very rare. The second most common form affects the abdomen, this is called peritoneal mesothelioma. As with the more common pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and can have a lengthy latency period. In effect a person could have been exposed to asbestos 10 to 50 years ago but only recently develop symptoms of mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the cell walls of the abdominal cavity. Symptoms can include feeling or being sick, pain or swelling in the abdomen, diarrhoea or constipation, loss of appetite and an unexplained loss of weight. Unfortunately, it is often not until the condition is at an advanced stage that mesothelioma is diagnosed. This is the case with each type of mesothelioma. Due to this, the prognosis for patients is poor. Currently there is no cure for mesothelioma and so treatment focuses on palliative care, relieving symptoms and improving quality of life. One of the peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms is a build up of fluid in the abdomen, this is called ascites. Ascites causes swelling in the abdomen and can cause discomfort. The fluid can be drained through a procedure called abdominal paracentesis or an ascitic tap. In many cases this procedure can be done as an outpatient and is not usually painful. After the procedure patients should feel much more comfortable and may also notice an increase in their appetite. Due to its late diagnosis, patients suffering with peritoneal mesothelioma are often too unwell to have chemotherapy as this can take its toll on the body. However, in cases where a person is strong or where an early diagnosis has been made, chemotherapy may be used to try and shrink tumours. Again, due to late diagnosis, surgery is often not an option for the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma. However, if surgery is possible a peritonectomy can be done. This involves removing the section of the peritoneum the lining of the abdomen that has been affected by mesothelioma. Cytoreductive surgery may also be an option. This involves as many as six peritonectomy procedures to remove as much cancer as possible. Heated chemotherapy is then introduced directly into the abdominal cavity. Both of these surgical options aim to reduce symptoms and increase quality of life. As with pleural mesothelioma or any other type, those suffering with peritoneal mesothelioma may be able to pursue a claim for compensation for their condition following exposure to asbestos. Due to the latency period of the condition, many companies that exposed employees to asbestos in the 1960s to 1990s are no longer trading. Fortunately, this does not mean that a compensation claim cannot be made. We have pursued claims against many dissolved companies. Through various searches we are often able to trace insurers for the companies and claims can then be pursued against them. In pursuing a claim for mesothelioma, Asbestos Justice aim to make the process as quick and easy as possible. The entire process can be conducted over the phone, using post and . Alternatively, if you would prefer a home visit, our specialist solicitors can come out and visit you and your family. If you would like further information or advice from our specialist asbestos solicitors please call

4 Case Study Asbestos Justice secures over 185,000 for mesothelioma sufferer At Asbestos Justice we regularly deal with complex asbestos disease claims and recently concluded another difficult case, successfully obtaining over 185,000 for family of Mr and Mrs F. We received instructions from Mrs F to pursue a claim for mesothelioma compensation following the sad death of her husband who passed due to the condition on 11th November Difficulty in Diagnosis Mrs F was given no indication from her husband s medical team that her husband was suffering with an asbestos related condition. This is quite common as asbestos related conditions can be difficult to diagnose on the basis of a sufferer s symptoms and scans alone. Difficulties in diagnosis can often lead to problems in pursuing the claim for mesothelioma compensation as the sufferers are not given the opportunity to consider how they were exposed to asbestos dust in the workplace. Post mortem reveals low asbestos exposure The case was reported to the coroner who arranged for a post mortem to take place. The results presented some concern in the case as the mineral fibre analysis showed the presence of a small quantity of tremolite asbestos but this was not elevated above levels of asbestos contained in the general environment, indicating that Mr F had suffered low level exposure to asbestos dust. It was stated in the coroner s office documentation that the results did not provide clear cut evidence of occupational exposure to asbestos but this would need to be interpreted in the light of a detailed occupational history. As Mr F sadly passed away before we were instructed to deal with the case, we were unable to take a statement from him referring to how he had been exposed to asbestos. We made enquiries with the assistance of his surviving wife to identify potential witnesses who worked alongside him in the workplace. Invaluable work history given by former colleague After speaking to a number of people we spoke to an invaluable witness who could remember coming into contact with asbestos when working with Mr F for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at their Priddy s Hard, Gosport, Ammunitions depot. The witness explained that he started work for the Defendant as a yard boy during 1974 approximately. After a matter of a few weeks he progressed to work as an assistant laboratory explosive maintenance assistant. It was when working in this role alongside Mr F from around December of 1988 that he recalled being exposed to asbestos dust. They both worked fulltime for the Defendant from 7:30am until 4.15pm Monday to Friday and one of the main tasks he and the deceased were employed to complete during their first few years of working as explosive maintenance assistants involved breaking down 4.5 inch shells within the test area of the Priddy s Hard depot. The shells had a VT fuse fitted to the top of the shell which had to be broken down which essentially meant separating this apart. After separating the fuse up from the shell they had to remove the copper wire ring inside the shell to be soaked in xylene. The copper ring rested in between the shell and the fuse. Before doing this there would be a need to remove the protective asbestos insulation from around the copper wire ring which was usually present within the fuse in a ring type shape. The witness described the asbestos as being of a whitish colouration, which was used for safety purposes in those days as an affective insulating and fireproofed material. This formed part of the VT fuse in most cases. As they separated the lagged copper wiring, puffs of asbestos dust would rise up into the atmosphere which they both inhaled. He estimated that they would break down up to 100 fuses each day on average which meant that they would be breathing up to 200 puffs of asbestos dust as a result of removing the insulation from the copper wire ring throughout the course of each working day. The witness helpfully remembered the asbestos dust being visible to the eye. It floated around in the general atmosphere when they worked within the test area on the fuses. The evidence confirmed that whilst both workers always wore a mask when carrying out this type of work, this was a thin, white, paper type, similar to those that can be found in DIY stores to wear when painting at home. The workers believed that this would be sufficient to protect them from breathing in asbestos dust but it is generally accepted that such masks would be entirely inadequate

5 Further evidence was secured from the witness confirming that a green plastic bag was present within the workshop. This would be filled with their contaminated gloves and thin paper masks throughout the course of the working day. This would be taken away at the end of the working day to be disposed of. The bag had the words hazardous waste embossed on the side. The witness explained that it would be common for them to spend a continuous 4 to 5 week period working with the 4.5 inch shells. At the end of these shifts, their overalls would be covered with some asbestos dust at the end of each working day within the breakdown area and they would take these off once a week to be left on site. They would be hung up in the changing rooms and as the workers changed, some asbestos dust would fall from their work overalls and floated around in the general atmosphere. In addition to the work in the workshops, the witness explained that the deceased also carried out his work on the 4.5 shells described in the above onboard RFA supply ships between approximately August of 1989 and August of His work onboard the ships involved the same tasks that they carried out at Priddy s Hard as the deceased was still working as an explosives maintenance assistant onboard these ships. The witness was even able to recall the name of their supervisors at the Ministry of Defence at the time which presented further helpful evidence to support the claim for mesothelioma compensation. The work colleagues later moved to the Ministry of Defence s Frater Elson site to work as explosives maintenance assistants during Recalling Priddy s Hard The witness provided a vivid picture of the conditions at Priddy s Hard which was a very large, old depot. It had 12 rooms on what they called the common, each being around 20 yards from one another. They were the size of a typical chalet type structure and were situated circularly on a dog race track type area. At the end of this, a number of offices were present. Next was an area known as Foreshore which overlooked the lake where there were about 9 buildings present, two of which were isolated breakdown room areas. There were 2 old railway station buildings where stores were delivered or taken away to different locations around the depot. Further on there were a number of what they called magazines which were used to store the ammunition completed in the workshops. Ground-breaking evidence All along each of the workshops and other buildings present within the Priddy s Hard depot there was a vast amount of pipework which ran across each building. The whole depot was steam powered in those days and all of the pipes were lagged with insulation, according to the witness. The witness believed all of the historical lagging, which covered the pipework, contained asbestos. He stated that between December of 1988 and the August of 1989 it was commonplace for both he and Mr F including other colleagues to be walking past buildings where fitters and maintenance men were in the process of removing the asbestos lagging from the outside pipework in order to attend to necessary repairs. The dust was described as being visible to the eye and floated around on the breeze. The witness clearly remembered seeing chunks of the asbestos lagging covering the grass verges and pathways which lay in between each building. As they walked through the debris, some further asbestos dust would raise up into the atmosphere which all of them inhaled. The witness stated that he never recalled being formally warned by the Ministry of Defence about the dangers of being exposed to asbestos dust. Nor was he told to wear anything other than a thin paper mask to do the work. He added that none of the courses he attended throughout his MOD career ever covered the dangers of being exposed to asbestos. Success Following receipt of the witness and medical evidence in the case, the Ministry of Defence agreed to pay over 185, in mesothelioma compensation to Mrs F. This case was a classic example where no established evidence of asbestos exposure was available on day one of dealing with the claim. However, by using our specialist knowledge in the field, we were able to obtain a detailed evidential account of how Mr F was exposed to asbestos in the workplace, securing the compensation for Mrs F, even in the face of the post mortem revealing that Mr F had suffered what was considered to be low level occupational exposure to asbestos. All photo s credit: Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower If you, a family member or colleague are concerned over asbestos exposure, contact Asbestos Justice on for expert legal advice. 5

6 Interactive website tools to benefit patients and health care professionals This month we introduce three new interactive tools from the Asbestos Justice website. Calculating Asbestos Claims The Claims Calculator helps sufferers and their families instantly value their claim based on a series of simple questions. We all appreciate how asbestos disease can affect your quality of life. Funding towards your own care or that of a loved one can ease the stress at this difficult time. Medical treatment, trials, transport, therapies, home improvements and specialist care can all be assisted through the civil claims process. Whether at home, visiting your GP, sat in the garden or out seeing friends and family, the calculator is easily accessible. Diagnosis Select your condition, the severity of your condition and your age range. About you Provide your contact details. This information helps us speed up the claims process. Valuation Our calculator provides an estimate of compensation amount based upon the details you provide. For a thorough, individual assessment of your claim, please contact Helena Cameron, Asbestos Justice Associate Director on Alternatively Need advice? We re online. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to for reassurance and clear advice. What if you had an experienced solicitor only a mouse click away? With the new LiveChat feature, you can speak to one of our expert solicitors instantly, whether in the comfort of your own home or with your GP. If you have any questions regarding benefits, the claims process, clinical trials, financial information or legal advice, our team is ready to help. Simply click on the Let s Talk button to chat live to one of our expert solicitors. Chat times are open from 9am until 5pm weekdays

7 Open and Honest Reviews Finding the right asbestos disease solicitor can prove stressful, especially at such a difficult time. We ve introduced TrustPilot to help you make that decision with confidence. TrustPilot gives our previous clients the opportunity to share open and trustworthy reviews about their experience with Asbestos Justice. We understand the importance of honesty when it is needed most, so don t take our word for it, let our clients tell you the truth. Please visit co.uk/review/www.asbestosjustice.co.uk 7

8 uks-deadliest-town Armley - The UK s Deadliest District Early Discovery of Asbestos Exposure Effects (Part 6) The danger of asbestos dust emissions had been known for longer than you d expect, even by the J. W. Roberts factory owners themselves. Yet this didn t seem to concern them at all Lucy Deane was one of the UK s first female factory inspectors. Deanne was also one of the first to raise concerns about the health risks arising from exposure to asbestos. Her report in 1898 highlighting health dangers and premature deaths as a result of asbestos exposure caused uproar among asbestos factory owners, particularly the Turner brothers (J. W. Roberts future owners). Her report stated: the evil effects of asbestos dust have also instigated a microscopic examination of the mineral dust by HM Medical Inspector. Clearly revealed was the sharp glass-like jagged nature of the particles, and where they are allowed to rise and to remain suspended in the air of the room in any quantity, the effects have been found to be injurious as might have been expected. Deane s warning, along with the warnings of other women inspectors, was fully ignored yet still published annually in the HM Chief Inspector of Factories It wasn t until 1911 when a pioneering experiment lead by Professor J. M. Beattie of Sheffield University using rats as test subjects, confirmed that asbestos inhalation was the directly linked to the formation of fibrosis. A 1930 s report by Merewether & Price concluded that the experiment s results were: reasonable grounds for suspicion that the inhalation of much asbestos dust was to some extent harmful This experiment had led to a medical discovery that high levels of asbestos exposure will lead to asbestosis and in most cases, put many at risk of Mesothelioma and lung cancer Scientific discovery was made closer to home in Armley. A local doctor, Dr Ian Grieve, conducted a study and report which focused on the health of the employers working within the J. W. Roberts factory. Daily work such as hand-beating asbestos mattresses for locomotives to help remove lumps was a major contributor to spreading the deathly dust. It was also largely the culprit to workers developing asbestosis within 5 years. The shocking reality of these activities was that the factory would be covered in blue asbestos. When the J. W. Roberts factory was bought by The Turner Brothers, Grieve s study was completely ignored. However his thesis was dug-up in 1990 s based on the fact that it had major relevance in litigation The Government finally passed the regulation for no dust in the workplace in This meant asbestos factories had to install ventilation systems and provide protective clothing and breathing apparatus. Despite Government intervention, they didn t take into account those living around asbestos factories, including those in occupations which are exposed to asbestos daily (electricians, shipyard workers). This meant that those living near to or around the J. W. Roberts factory would become ill but The Turner Brothers would not be responsible. Above left image source: Effects of Asbestos Dust (Merewether & Price. 1930) Above image Source/Credit: Urbandegeneration.com

9 The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity was founded in 1999 it is the legacy of Helen Rollason MBE, who died of cancer aged 43. Helen Rollason Cancer Support Centres Helen s vision to provide better emotional support for cancer patients has led to the foundation of three Helen Rollason Cancer Support Centres. In an environment of peace and tranquillity, complementary therapies, manual lymph drainage, counselling and support groups are available to people with cancer, their families, carers and friends. We support men and women with all types of cancer at all stages: whether newly diagnosed or longer term, throughout treatment and after treatment is completed. Helen Rollason Clinical Drug Trials New medical treatments and drugs go through rigorous testing before they are approved for general use. In the final stages of this approval process, suitable patients are invited to take part in clinical trials of these treatments and drugs. Helen Rollason Cancer Charity supports clinical trials to develop new cancer drugs and treatments at both Broomfield Hospital in Essex and North Middlesex University Hospital in East London. Patients are able to access treatments which may be licensed but are not yet available on the NHS, awaiting NICE approval or are a novel new agent. Since 2000, the charity has supported more than 3000 cancer patients in Essex and London, resulting in effective new treatments that are now available to the general public. We support the largest Cancer Research Clinical Drug Trial Programme in the Essex Hospitals Network. In 2011, the Helen Rollason Research Centre was opened at Broomfield Hospital to enable more patients to participate. During the coming year we expect to be supporting well over 200 people on such trials by making grants to the hospitals concerned. Cancer Support Centres and Support Groups Our award-winning centres support people living with cancer. They are friendly, relaxing places where cancer patients can go - with their families, friends and carers - for support and counselling. Patients can also have therapies that work together with their medical treatment and reduce stress including massage and reflexology. We make no charge for our services, and as we receive no Government or NHS funding we rely on our charity shops, grants and the fantastic fundraising efforts of our supporters to ensure we can continue our vital work. There are three Helen Rollason Cancer Support Centres: Essex - Rochelle House in Chelmsford Hertfordshire - at the Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth London - at North Middlesex University Hospital in Edmonton How we can help you For patients, family, friends and carers Counselling Support Groups For patients Counselling Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) Massage Reflexology Aromatherapy Bach flower remedies Look Good... Feel Better workshops Please contact your local centre in Essex, Hertfordshire or London to find out what help is available in your area. Ways to help Helen Rollason Cancer Charity continue their good work Text HRCC465 to to donate 5 Hold a Tea for Helen for your family, friends or at work Join Helen s Club, just sign up to a standing order of 5 per month and we will give you a unique number which is entered into our 100 monthly prize draw Do you know somewhere that would take a collection tin? Last year our collection tins raised more than 20,000 for the charity If you are able to help in any of the above ways or have a fundraising idea, talk to our fundraising team on or Contact Visit our website at Full credit for story and image: Helen Rollason Cancer Charity 9

10 Benefit Entitlements There are numerous state benefits which you may be able to claim if your asbestos related disease was caused whilst in employment. For expert advice call Bereavement Payment What is it? This is a one off lump sum payment totalling 2, which could be payable if your husband, wife or civil partner has passed away due to an asbestos related illness. Am I eligible to claim? You may be entitled to claim a Bereavement Payment if your spouse or civil partner paid sufficient National Insurance Contributions. In order to apply, one of the following must apply to you:- you were under State Pension age at the date of your partner s passing your spouse or civil partner was not entitled to Category A state Retirement Pension when they passed You will be unable to claim a Bereavement Payment if any of the following apply to you:- you were divorced or had a dissolved civil partnership when your spouse or civil partner passed you are living with another person as husband, wife or civil partner you are in prison How to Claim You can apply through your local Jobcentre or alternatively by downloading, completing and submitting the relevant form, using the following link:- Alternatively, you can apply by phone using the following numbers:- If you reside in the UK:- Bereavement Service on Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm If you reside abroad:- International Pension Centre on Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm Credit:

11 Treatment Centres If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, finding the right help can be difficult. We advise speaking to your own medical team when considering the most appropriate treatment options. There are many specialist hospitals and treatment centres providing specialist services. To help begin your search, we have compiled a list of treatment and trial centres for asbestos diseases. Christie Hospital NHS Trust 550 Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX. Telephone: The Christie Hospital NHS Trust is the largest single-site cancer treatment centre in Europe, and offers services including diagnosis, treatment and general care for cancer patients, as well as cancer education. Website: Papworth Hospital Papworth Everard, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 8RE. Telephone: Papworth Hospital is the largest international specialist Cardiothoracic (heart and lung) hospital in the UK and includes the country s main heart and lung transplant centre. Also provides a Mesothelioma support service. Website: Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital Aldermaston Road, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NA. Telephone: Centre for specialist treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Home to Consultant Colorectal Surgeon Dr. Faheez Mohamed and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (chemo bath). Website: The Royal Marsden Hospital Fulham Road, London, Greater London SW3 6JJ. Telephone: The Royal Marsden, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), is designated as the UK s only National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) dedicated solely to cancer. Provides both trials and treatments. Website: Contact form online Glenfield Hospital Groby Road, Leicester, Leicestershire. LE3 9QP Telephone: Respiratory and Cardiothoracic Centre, Mesothelioma Centre and home to Mesothelioma UK and Professor Dean Fennell. The specialist lung cancer centre has excellent lung cancer survival rates and an extremely active research programme. Website: Derriford Hospital Derriford Rd, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8DH Telephone: Derriford Hospital is a large teaching hospital in Plymouth. It is one of three hospitals approved to conduct Mesothelioma trials. Website: Contact form online Guy s Hospital St. Thomas Street, London, Greater London SE1 9RT. Telephone: Guy s Hospital offers some of the top cancer specialists in the country, the very latest state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering treatments, thanks to their extensive research programmes. Website: St. Bartholomew s Hospital West Smithfield, London, Greater London EC1A 7BE. Telephone: St. Bartholomew s Hospital (Barts), is a leading, internationally renowned teaching hospital based in the City of London. It is the centre for Mesothelioma research (UK wide). Home to Dr. Rudd and Jeremy Steele (Chairman of Mesothelioma UK). Website: Contact form online 11

12 Asbestos Justice, Douglas House, 117 Foregate Street Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1HE Rest assured, you re in safe hands. Keep in touch on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Connect with us on LinkedIn: Asbestos Justice is a trading style of Oliver & Co Solicitors Ltd Douglas House, 117 Foregate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1HE. Telephone

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